83rd Cadet & Sub-Junior Nationals: Akash and Vatsal ready to renew U-11 title battle

table tennis club 1Indore: Akash Rajavelu of Tamil Nadu, who won the Central Zone National Ranking title last week, and the runner-up from Haryana, Vatsal Duklan, showed no travel fatigue to complete their qualification process and enter the main draw of the Under-11 Youth Boys in the 83rd Cadet & Sub-Junior Nationals at the Abhay Prashal, here today.

Vatsal, placed in group 1, and Akash in group 2 took the top spots and, in the process, kept a clean slate. Vatsal thrashed Pranit Mahajan of Jammu and Kashmir 11-1, 11-1, 11-1 and then beat Yug Sharma of Himachal 11-5, 11-1, 11-5 to complete his group engagements. On the other hand, Akash struggled a bit to overcome Somansh Gupta of Haryana 11-8, 11-5, 11-3 but it was his match against Dew Rajkhowa of Assam that he dropped a game. Nevertheless, his 11-3, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7 triumphs put him on top of the ladder.

In fact, in all the top 16 groups the leaders had little difficulty against their group rivals as they won their matches with relative ease and booked their knockout-stage berths. The boys from Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Bengal, Delhi and Gujarat showed their potential in this category to register wins and move into the second stage.

In comparison, the latter groups witnessed a few interesting matches that went down to the wire in the battle for the top place. The 32 players from as many groups have qualified and the seeding of top eight players will be done before the open electronic draw.

Meanwhile, two rounds each in Youth Boys Under-14 and Under-15 have been scheduled for the day with the third round to be played tomorrow morning. The action in the main draw in all the three categories will take place from tomorrow afternoon.

The list of U-11 qualifiers: Vatsal Duklan (Har), Akash Rajavelu (TNTTA), S. Karmeghakannan (TTTA), Aditya Das (Ben), Param Bhiwandkar (Mah), Vivaan Dave (Guj), Viren Patil (Del), Parsh Yadav (Har), Samriddha Bhattacharya (Ben), Aarav Acharya (Raj), Tanmay A. Raghavan (TTTA), Himon Kumar Mondal (Ben), Rudraksha Das (Ben), Rishaan Chattopadhyay (Ben), Reyansh Jalan (Kar), Avikshit Changmai (Asm), Shreyas Mankeshwar (Man), Nivaan Sheth (Mah), Rithwik Senthilkumar (TNTTA), K. Akshay Bhushan (TTTA), Bhavit Singh Bisht (Raj), Aswin Pechetti (AP), A.B. Tharoon (TNTTA), J.N. Sanjey Arwindh (TTTA), Adrikh Gogoi (Asm), Sroban Paul (Ben), Devaprayag Sreejith (Ker), Rajarshi Pratim Dutta (Ben), Jenil Patel (TTFI), Raunaq Goel (Del), Veer Balmiki (UP), Chitraksh Arora (TTFI).